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Report: Apple needs NBC back, and quickly

updated 10:40 am EST, Thu December 6, 2007

Report: Apple needs NBC

Apple needs to work hard towards getting NBC videos back on iTunes, argues a recent report by Forrester Research. Firm analyst James McQuivey claims that when NBC videos dropped from iTunes this past weekend, he warned Apple executives that there was too much at stake. "Don't let the Macgeeks posting angry blogs against NBC fool you," McQuivey's report reads, "The loser here is Apple, which relies on NBC Universal to deliver 30 [percent] of video download sales. Any supposed backlash against NBC will not materialize because NBC has made its content available, for free, on and six other major portals sites."

Among those portals is Hulu, which the network recently launched in cooperation with Fox owners News Corporation. Rather than pay for videos, visitors must simply wait through unskippable advertising.

NBC Universal CEO Jeff Zucker has said that he is willing to do business with Apple again, but an NBC spokeswoman notes that no progress is being made. "We're always open to dialogue, but right now there are no active discussions," she explains. The origins of the conflict lay in pricing: while Apple charges low, frequently inflexible amounts for shows and movies, NBC wanted to experiment with bundles, and/or higher prices for premium content.

by MacNN Staff





  1. MacnTX

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Umm, NBC needs iTunes far worse than iTunes needs NBC. They only have one decent show on that network anyway (The Office) and even that show is beginning to show signs of circling the drain this past season.

  1. jarod

    Joined: Dec 1969


    NBC is a PIG

    Greedy filthy scum of the earth pigs.

    And for the that may the P2P torrent network annihilate them.

  1. starwarrior

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Same here

    Mr Universal has it right. These MBC things are being ripped so fast that all of them will be worthless in a matter of week.

  1. UberFu

    Joined: Dec 1969


    yeah... is *FREE_

    *Free - meaning that every few minutes you are forced to watch a 30 second commercial BEFORE you can continue to the next segment_

    If I download something from the iTMS - no commercials_ Thanks NBC - but no thanks_ I download and watch content online to avoid the commercials_ Otherwise I should simply watch standard cable and sit thru the commercials on my couch in the living room_

  1. Guest

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Can you say Bittorrent?

    NBC Universal has done nothing but drive people to Bittorrent servers. Same content, HIGHER QUALITY (HD), and free. Actually NBC has done far worse to themselves and the industry by forcing users to Bittorent to find all their content.

    iTunes is better with NBC (and all content), but hardly in trouble without NBC.

  1. David Esrati

    Joined: Dec 1969


    NBC- heard of TiVo?

    The laughable thing- is that the computer illiterate people at NBC are still in the twilight zone thinking that they are in control. The people who downloaded shows on iTunes were doing it for convenience- and because the quality of the image, the ease of use was worth paying for. I've yet to see a Network site deliver anything near useful. As to the ads- only advertisers who want to be hated would make us sit through ads we may, or may not want to see. It's an opt-in, earned attention world- the networks better wake up- because we don't need them anymore... we can get content direct from the producers. TiVo allows us to skip ads- and if it was as easy as iTunes to download to our iPods- we would. Wake up NBC- the only one you're hurting is yourself.

  1. boris_cleto

    Joined: Dec 1969


    The sky is falling.

    This is what the fifth or sixth time Forrester has said iTunes is dead?

  1. Harlemite

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Go Apple, Go!

    Mr. McQuivey can say what he likes. Apple was looking out for the consumer on this one. It's hard for them to NOT come out shining in the eyes of the regular guy/girl in this matter.

    "Let's see... Should I choose Apple, who's trying to keep prices reasonable..?"

    "Or do I choose NBC who's trying to jack up prices and make more than they probably need..?"

    That's a no-brainer.

    And if they think Apple is gonna lose on this, then they're really missing a crucial point that was mentioned earlier: bit torrents. Folks are going to have what they will have. They are not going to pay more than they feel they should when there are other means of obtaining them. iTunes has proven that folks will pay a reasonable price for a digital product. However, when that digital product becomes more expensive than folks want to pay, they find other ways of obtaining it that NBC definitely doesn't like.

    Is this really that tough to figure out?

  1. eldarkus

    Joined: Dec 1969



    while Apple charges low, frequently inflexible amounts for shows and movies, NBC wanted to experiment with bundles, and/or higher prices for premium content.

    Now lets apply the Corporate Babelfish translator:

    While Apple wants to help customers with standard pricing, we greedy f*cks at NBC feel we should be able to rip them off with price gouging and other techniques to get more from shows that were already making advertising dollars from. This allows us to fuel other c*** TV like "Fat people lose weight, Howie Mandell's soul patch and hot chicks with briefcases, Give Donald Trump even more money, Hicktown loves football & Bionic b******...

  1. dennisobell

    Joined: Dec 1969


    devil's advocate

    I am rooting for Apple on this, but Forrester guy has a point here.

    BitTorrent is great (it's how I get tons of my TV), but it's still far too complicated (AVI -> QT conversion, etc.) for the masses.

    NBC's shows are low-rated by Nielsen, but they're heavily viewed by certain advertiser-friendly pockets, the kind who would pay for an 'Office' season pass at iTunes. Apple wants these users -- they're the sweet spot for them: laptop-buying, Apple-store-visiting, urban.

    The Forrester guy's other apt point is that Apple needs TV to be a success at iTunes because it's the only use for the video capability that has taken off. The movie studios are continuing to stonewall Apple, and word is Apple is about to cave on pricing on full-length movies. A shame, but a reality.

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